lundi 20 janvier 2014

Did Tolkien make real langages?

When someone is concerned about something I said or wrote, I hate it when he prays for me to get a hint about his point of view instead of communicating his point of view to me directly. It forces me to live as a hermit, without wanting to, rather than as a man among men.

Nevertheless, I have learned to take certain coincidences as hints from God's providence about what other people are concerned about.

Like, I have twice or rather more times but in two contexts argued from the fact that Tolkien created languages. Once for God's ability to replace the old language with a new one in each of the nations that dispersed from Babel in each person. And once in connexion with a demon's ability to write a book in a constructed language and communicate that language to Joseph Smith.

Even more, some idiots may think that Tolkien himself got his languages Quenya and Sindarin from demons inventing and communicating them. I think his Father confessor might have had such a suspicion at least in passing, and this might be one reason why Tolkien translated Our Father and Hail Mary and Glory to the Father into Quenya and Sindarin. Unless it was himself who wanted to make sure. Unless, once again, his desire to hallow his languages was totally unconnected with such suspicions, and he would have wanted it anyway - he was after all a pious Catholic.

Now, came to my attention a few things that are of import in the context. Appropriately enough - the Quenya text is from Genesis. I think all words in chapter one are by Tolkien himself, while one word in chapter two Helge Fauskanger preferred transliterating the tetragrammaton into Quenya phonology rather than using Tolkien's word for "lord" in the context of translating O Kυριος as The Lord.

The following links are, however, Helge Kåre Fauskanger, Norwegian Bible translator, his homepage about Tolkien's languages, followed by two youtubes with reading his translations of the first two chapters of Genesis into Quenya

Of the Tongues of Arda, the invented world of J.R.R. Tolkien

Lucia Deetz : I Yessessë (reciting of first Chapter of Genesis in Quenya)

Lucia Deetz : Genesis - Chapter 2 (Quenya language)

I can say that Tolkien's Arda is not an invented world in the sense of Narnia or Elidor or Tower of Geburah. It is as much and as little connected to our own real Europe as the Russian folktale's world where Ivan Czarevich rides "through twenty-nine kingdoms and thirty lands" is connected to the real Russia of Czars and before them.

But the point is made: Tolkien, who every Christian will acknowledge was just a man, has accomplished the creation of languages. He is not alone among his colleagues. Schleicher had created more than one version of Proto-Indo-European before he was even born. It was meant to be based on evidence from Indo-European languages, but was nevertheless a language that Schleicher created or constructed, as much as Zamenhof had created Esperanto, although the purpose was different. In all three cases - internationalist, reconstructive AND "purely artistic". Actually Tolkien had partly a reconstructive purpose with Quenya and Sindarin too - for the language spoken in Northern Europe before Indo-European and Fenno-Ugrian.

And of course, what a mere man can do, also angels and demons can do and obviously God Himself can do. Therefore Babel is possible.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Bpi, Georges Pompidou
St Fabian, Pope and
Martyr under Decius

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